VPC Concert Series

published September 18, 2018


Dear Friends of Music,

What an amazing year we have had! We moved back into the sanctuary a year ago October and heard the magnificent Lively-Fulcher pipe organ for the first time. What joy it is bringing to all of us! Our concert series included international virtuoso organists David Higgs and Fred Swan, the three winners of the James Cochran Prize at Eastman School, and our own Chancel Choir with brass ensemble singing the Rutter Gloria.

While it seems impossible to top that line up, WE ARE! This year, in addition to our own incredible offerings of talent, Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church is the host church for six Seraphic Fire concerts and eight Grand Piano Series concerts.

We are now in the enviable position of being the “GO TO” church for the highest quality concerts in the entire county.  All of this requires your continued support, both financially and physically. We need your generous contributions to the series to pay the high caliber performers, and we want you to be in the pews to enjoy the spectacular shows, and then invite your friends to share in the joy!

The annual brochure details all of the concerts. Our church concert series is free, but a free-will offering will be collected at intermission. The Seraphic Fire and Grand Piano Series are ticketed concerts, and contact information is provided.

Please take a look at what we are offering this year, and contribute as generously as you can. And then, tell your friends.

See you at the concerts!

Dr. James B. Cochran,

Director of Music




Sunday, November 11 – 4 p.m. – Malcolm Matthews, Organist, winner of the James Cochran Prize in Organ Playing at the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester (NY). Works by Mendelssohn, Reubke and Bach will be included in the program.

Sunday, November 18th – 4 p.m. Join Jodie DeSalvo, pianist; Glenn Basham, violinist; Teddy Collins, tenor; and James Cochran, organist for a concert of favorites. Concert is free, but a free-will offering will be taken to help support the Coalition for Immokalee Farm Workers. This concert is being underwritten by Estella Morroni.


Three Thirty-Minute Advent Noontime concerts:
Escape the hectic outside world and relax in our beautifully decorated Sanctuary!
Wednesday, December 5 – Laura Guindon, Organist
Wednesday, December 12 – Sherry Hardgrove, Soprano
Wednesday, December 19 – John McCann, Tenor
James Cochran will accompany Mrs. Hardgrove and Mr. McCann in sacred and secular songs of the season!

Sunday, December 9 – 4 p.m. – Lessons and Carols Service
Get into the Christmas spirit by joining us for the second annual service of Nine Lessons and Carols featuring the Chancel Choir, VandeReaders readers’ theatre troupe, Guest soloists Michele Byrd, Soprano; Matthew Sonneborn, Trumpet, and Stanley Leonard, Timpanist. WORLD PREMIERE of Fanfares and Celebration, a piece for organ and timpani, written by Mr. Leonard to celebrate the new Lively-Fulcher organ in the Sanctuary of the Vanderbilt church. Concert will conclude with a carol sing-along!


Sunday, January 13 – 4. p.m. Michele Byrd, soprano; Brice Gerlach, piano and organ; James Cochran piano and organ and Colin Gerlach, violin will present an exciting concert of solos, duets, trios and quartets from the sacred, secular and pop repertoire. Concert is free, but a free-will offering will be taken to benefit the scholarship program of the local Chapter HP of PEO.

Sunday, January 27 – 4 p.m. Lyric Soprano Nancy Peery Marriott and Broadway super talent Chris Dieman will present a varied program of sacred, secular and Broadway hits. Solos and duets and some special surprise guests. James Cochran will accompany the artists on both piano and organ.


Sunday, March 10 – 4 p.m. Minneapolis Baritone William Marshall will join the Vanderbilt Chancel Choir in a Spring Concert featuring Vaughan Williams’s “Five Mystical Songs.” The choir will sing several hits from the British choral repertoire, and Mr. Marshall will sing music of Ned Rorem, Alan Menken and Rodgers and Hammerstein.

Sunday, March 24 – 4 p.m.  ANNUAL FUNDRAISING CONCERTNATHAN LAUBE, INTERNATIONAL SUPER STAR CONCERT ORGANIST will play a solo recital on the new Lively-Fulcher pipe organ. A MUST NOT MISS!!! Laube is the co-chair of the keyboard department at the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester. Tickets required – Call 239-592-5398

Sunday, April 7 – 4 p.m. – Joseph Golden, Professor of Organ at Columbus University in Columbus, Georgia will play a concert of ensemble pieces for organ with different instruments including Harp, Violins and Marimba! Professor Golden is recognized as one of the outstanding improvisers in this country, and he will, on the spot, improvise an entire four movement liturgical suite!

Sunday, April 28 – 4 p.m. – Dexter Kennedy, Organist – As the winner of the Grand Prix d’Interprétation at the 24 th Concours International d’Orgue de Chartres, Dexter Kennedy has established himself internationally as “one of the greatest organists of our times” (Iceland Monitor). Praised for his “prodigious technique and grand style musicality” in The American Organist, his concert programs present performances that are fiery and historically informed, exciting both music connoisseurs as well as people who have never experienced the organ in concert setting. In addition to concertizing, Dexter Kennedy currently serves on the music faculty of the College of Wooster as Instructor of Organ and Harpsichord.



Seraphic Fire – hear the finest vocal artists perform engaging and uplifting programming in South Florida’s reverberant and intimate spaces. Tickets are required and are available at the website – SeraphicFire.org or by calling 305-285-9060.

December 13 – 7 p.m. – A Seraphic Fire Christmas. Hear the finest vocal artists performing English carols and transcendent chants in a Grammy nominated holiday experience.

January 15 – 7 p.m. – Seraphic Fire presents music from the African-American tradition – “I Have a Dream”. Seraphic Fire returns to America’s first true concert music. Highlighting both solemn melodies and exhilarating rhythms.

February 14 – 7 p.m. Seraphic Fire’s women’s ensemble recreates Antonio Vivaldi’s famed 17th Century Ospedale della Pieta performances in this program of his concerti for treble voices accompanied by Baroque chamber instruments.

March 14 – 7 p.m. Seraphic Fire presents Korean Choral Treasures with guest conductor E.J. Yoon. The concert will highlight the gems of East Asia and brings South Korea to South Florida.

April 14 – 4 p.m. – Seraphic Fire presents Latin American Baroque – this concert presents the rediscovered sounds of Cuba, Bolivia and Peru through ancient music that blends indigenous rhythms and instruments with European traditions.

May 7 – 7 p.m. – Seraphic Fire presents a Prayer for Harmony – Peace in Music – contemporary American works alongside traditional pieces that have called for wisdom and peace throughout history.

This exciting series is new at Vanderbilt Church this year! Hear some of the most exceptional and prominent pianists from around the world perform in our beautiful church.

Tickets are required and can be purchased at www.grandpianoseries.com or call 646-734-8179. Subscription and group discounts are available. Contact Milana for more info.

December 10, 2018 – 7:30 PM – Rodolfo Leone
Twenty-six-year-old Italian born pianist Rodolfo Leone is the First Prize Winner of the 15th International Beethoven Piano Competition Vienna (2017). Described as “a true sound philosopher” (Oberösterreichische Nachrichten), Rodolfo released his debut album on the Austrian label Gramola in May 2018. Program will feature works by Chopin and Beethoven.

January 7, 2019 – 7:30 PM – Lera Auerbach
Lera Auerbach is a concert pianist, composer, poet, and visual artist. She has published more than 100 works for opera, ballet, orchestral and chamber music, and performs as concert pianist throughout the world. Her work is championed by leading artists, conductors, stage directors and choreographers, with recent works staged by the San Francisco Ballet, Hamburg Opera, Theatre an der Wein, Staatskapelle Dresden, and New York’s Lincoln Center.
Lera will perform monumental work by M. Mussorgsky – Pictures at an Exhibition.

February 19, 2019 – 7:30 PM – Vyacheslav Gryaznov
Russian Fantasy evening featuring works of Rachmaninoff and Vyacheslav’s transcriptions of Russian classics. Vyacheslav has gained a reputation as one of the most remarkable young virtuoso pianist and arranger working today and he has signed a publishing contract with Schott Music (Germany).

March 4, 2019 7:30 PM – Ya-Fei Chuang
Ya-Fei Chuang has been acclaimed by critics for performances of stunning virtuosity, refinement and communicative power. She has appeared at numerous international festivals, including the Beethoven Festival Warsaw with Christoph Eschenbach, European Music Festival (Stuttgart), Bach Festival Leipzig, Gilmore, Ravinia, and Tanglewood Festivals.
Program of French Impressionist music will be played that evening.

April 9, 2019 – 7:30 PM – Ilya Yakushev
Winner of the 2005 World Piano Competition which took place in Cincinnati, OH, Mr. Yakushev received his first award at age 12 as a prizewinner of the Young Artists Concerto Competition in his native St. Petersburg, Russia. Ilya studied with legendary pianist Vladimir Feltsman.
Program will feature all-time favorite Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue among others.
GPS will feature Free Masterclasses for local students on December 8, February 16, and March 2 at 3:00 PM.

Next Post

Nominations & 2018 Annual Report

published March 1, 2019